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Can Footy Fans Do Their Jobs and Just Support Their Teams, Please!

Can Footy Fans Do Their Jobs and Just Support Their Teams, Please!

By: Bootoomee

It’s another transfer window; the most annoying periods in the football calendar. Footy fans are now busy watching Youtube 30 second clips for the names of the next saviours of their clubs, which they will then spam their online support forums with.

“We need to sign a lethal/world class/potent (etc) striker” – This is always on the wish list. No transfer speculator would be worth their onions if their list does not include a striker, described with one ‘killer’ adjective or the other. Many would be kind enough to list a few of such strikers, thanks to Youtube. Interestingly though, on the same threads, somebody would pop up to burst their bubble with detailed information on why the speculated striker signing cannot be possible. Usually, the speculator would just move unto other names, oblivious of the lesson that they’ve just been taught: player signing is very, very complicated!

It is understandable why football fans play the transfer speculation game. We all want our teams to do well, and we naturally want to do our bit to make success possible. This is a noble thing. However, while it would also be noble to rush into a burning building to save people, it would be stupid to do so when the fire-fighters are already on the scene. The fire-fighters are professionals. They know what to do. Any other passionate person around (perhaps with relatives inside) would only be hindering the professionals from doing their jobs by going in with them. Or in respect of us online football fans: screaming ideas and instructions at them from the sideline.

Many of us have been following the beautiful game all our lives. That’s a very long time no matter ones’ age and this gives the false impression of skill at running the game. But all that following football gives us fans is knowledge of facts of the game. In other words, we know the history. Period. I have been wearing clothes all my life but I cannot sew a shirt; and I have used hundreds of them. Some people may be able to sew shirts but it will only be because they’ve learnt how to from tailors. To be fair, anyone can sew shirts but I doubt many would be proud to wear theirs.

One of the major accolades (amongst many) bestowed on the then Senator Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential run was that “he knows what he does not know and he always get people who know to help him out”. Another term for this is self awareness. Know what you are good at and stick to it. At Untold Arsenal, I can guess who wrote an article just by the title. If it is historical, financial, about the media or Tottenham, it is very likely to have been penned by Tony. If it is about officiating or a very enthusiastic title in support of the team, Walter must have written it. Other Untold writers have their forte and tells which can be guessed more easily the more one reads their articles. That is precisely what makes Untold Arsenal what it is today. There are different writers, different ideas and perspectives but all in support of Arsenal.

What also makes Untold great for me is that we don’t play the transfer speculation game here. Damn, I hate that stupid game.

Is Bacary Sagna going to sign a new contract? I have no bloody clue. Am I worried that he might leave at the end of his contract? Of course, I am. I love Sagna. He is the perfect professional or the closest thing to one (but that is only because I don’t want to sound like a sycophant). There is nothing that I would love more than to see him extend his contract (okay, maybe the 2013/14 EPL title).

There are 2 things that we need to take cognizance of here:

  1. Players don’t do ANYTHING because we want or wish them to. They would listen to their agents and others in their entourage before they listen to us. That is if they ever listen to us at all. To be honest, I don’t blame them for looking out for themselves. Football fans would start slagging them off as soon as their forms drop. Or asking for a better player to be signed to take their place. For example: Olivier Giroud!
  2. Whatever worries we might have about Sagna or any of our players for that matter, Arsene Wenger has more and if he doesn’t, it must be that we are worrying for nothing because there is nothing to worry about. Whatever the issue may be with any member of the team, I have full faith in Arsene Wenger to handle it in the best possible way for Arsenal Football Club. He is a consummate professional and a father figure to many of our players. I trust him to act in the best interest of all concerned.

At the beginning of the season, many Gooners did not give the team any chance to do as well as they currently are and this is almost exclusively because Arsene Wenger did not listen to them and splash the cash on world class players. Unlike Chelsea and Manchester City who “spent some fucking money” in the summer and are as a result going to compete for the title between them; Arsenal are going to struggle to get 4th place as usual.

This prediction has so far failed to come to pass. The team has led the league most of the season so far. The point gap has gone up and down but no team has had more points than Arsenal, after playing equal number of games, in months. Chelsea and Man city have only led for very brief periods and at the time of writing, 20 games have been played which means all the teams have played each other plus one.

Normally, common sense would dictate that if you’ve failed at a venture, you either give it up or tread more carefully in future when trying again. It sounds ridiculous to read comments admitting to being wrong about the team’s progress so far but then followed with not just expression of doubt but outright certainty about how the team is not going to make it in the end because the same Man city or Chelsea are going to win it. This line is understandable from the fans of the other 2 contenders. Fans are supposed to be optimistic in favour of their teams. It is indeed their duty to prop up their teams and spread confidence amongst the supporters, many of whom will take that swagger to the stadiums, resulting in louder support.

I hope it is not too much to ask the same of us Gooners. I am not oblivious of the doubt that many of us have about how this season will turn out. I have it too. This is what you get after almost a decade of winning nothing despite coming close on many occasions. Doubt is the enemy here and we need to conquer it. Unless one can see into the future, we can never totally conquer doubt but we can limit it or more importantly, desist from spreading it. Believe me when I say that whatever doubt you have about the team, many others share it but are only keeping the faith because that is what supporters do. Don’t reinforce their doubt by repeating yours ad-nauseam. You are not being realistic, as you like to claim; you are spreading gloom and undermining the same team that you claim to love and support.

It is the season of speculation and every fan wants to show off their (often) non-existent knowledge of the game by pulling out assorted, usually, exotic names. My hope is that we will give it a rest and the let the manager do his job as he and his team see fit. If we do ours as supporters by spreading positive vibes about our team, this team will land us the silverware that we all so desperately desire.

Keep the faith.

The Books

Books on Arsenal at a discount

53 comments to Can Footy Fans Do Their Jobs and Just Support Their Teams, Please!

  • tshirt

    i get the message,but truth be told mr.bootoomee,a striker is needed now unless wenger pulls park out of the hat

  • We support, we rant. It’s both our jobs. If you ask us to support the club/player no matter what, they become spoilt. If we rant no matter what they do, we are the spoilt brats. It has to be balanced truth be told. People pay to watch football. You do not want to know how much I spent this weekend to watch FA Cup matches. It is all entertainment, just like going to a cinema. I must trust them (and myself) I am getting my money’s worth. They are professionals getting paid a lot to withstand abuse (however mild). We are fans. We will cheer. We will shout. But when they play under-par, we will be vexed. We will rant. And they should not complain… P.S: We need a (world class) striker ASAP if nada is happening this season.

  • Mandy Dodd

    For many I guess speculation is part of the fun and intrigue nothing wrong as long as fans back the players currently n the team 100%. But you make some very valid points ultimately we have little idea of what really goes on with transfers. names are produced often with no substance and then used as a stick to beat the manager with when they do not arrive and that really us a bit stupid. Jan as we all know is a very difficult month to buy the standard of player to improve this team and unfortunately the likes of athletics will not be selling their top striker to us this month nor will Dortmund benfica Porto bayern real, man utd or liverpool

  • Sid

    I have always loved transfer speculation, since I was a kid and long before the internet and skysports abominable bastardisation of all things football ‘news’.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong or bad about wanting your team to improve, or sign a player or 2 and this constant bitching about it only perpetuates the much maligned divisons between Gooners.

    I understand there are so called fans out there who use the non signing of players to bash the club and manager with and they are twits, no doubt, who would find something to slate the boss for regardless.

    But for me, we DO need new additions, including a striker and have done since the dutch rat left.

  • AmericanGunnerFan84

    Your reference to Obama knowing anything other than being a manipulative socialist shat on the entire rest of your article stick to football references

  • Brett Chitty

    An Arsenal supporter supports Arsenal. It doesn’t include being anti-spurs. Why contaminate my support for Arsenal?

  • kizzi

    Everyone of us would love to see new additions to the team but i dont think we are desperate. This team is good enough the way it is and given the way we play at the moment with a big CF (Giroud) fighting, winning balls up top and holding the ball linking play, it’s hard to imagine a better striker than Giroud available at the moment that would come in and help us win the title this season.

    Unless you think of bringing back Adebayor!! from the chickens… A new striker at this point will disrupt the way we play and yet we already have Walcott, Bendtner and Podolski(once fully fit) as backup. Giroud can frustrate when he misses those chances but he more than makes up for it with his link up play, his battling and winning those high balls up top which gives lots of chances to the players around him.

    People are calling for a striker but i’d rather see us getting another CB for cover. Think of two of our current CBs getting injured and we dont have anyone to get in apart from Sagna who can move inside but then we lose an attacking RB in the process!! Speaking of Sagna, i think he will wait it out until we win a trophy before deciding if he stays. If we do win the league he will stay, if we dont i think he’ll move back to france. He has been one of the most loyal players to the club during our barren spell. It’d really be rewarding and deserving for him to finally get that trophy!!

    COYGS!!!! We are top of the league!! Long may it continue

  • soglorious

    boo,
    Nice write up to serve as a reminder of how much fans know about transfers – NOTHING!- and thanks for that.
    All that is required of fans is to SUPPORT the club.
    All we need to do is “KEEP THE FAITH”.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I’m of two minds on this. I don’t mind people suggesting a move for this player or that. It’s OK to speculate but when someone starts taking himself too seriously and freaks out if the club does something differently (especially accompanied by a downturn in form)then…Some trust for our leadership is always needed.

    And, I’m fine with fanatics, especially at the grounds because boy does it give us atmosphere. I guess there must be some limits. I cheer and sing when I have energy but wow those that do it for 90 minutes…hats off to them.

  • Soglorious,

    Thanks bro.

    I know my limitations in the game of football. I am only a fan and I think I am a fairly good one. All I ever do is support my team. It’s very easy 🙂

    Thanks for also keeping the faith man; we are winning the league this season.

  • GoingGoingGooner,

    I agree with you that there is nothing wrong with making suggestions (although I never do it as I really don’t see the point), the problem is what you said in the next sentence. Many fans take themselves too seriously. More importantly, they pollute the enthusiasm of others with their incessant whining for this or that addition followed by warnings of calamity to come unless the club heed their advice.

    Without those ‘fanatics’ that you mentioned in your second paragraph, the game would be dead boring. I like to think of myself as one of them. Long live the sane ‘fanatics’ 🙂

  • nicky

    @Boo..,
    Very disturbed to read that “Players…would listen to their agents”.
    This may well be true but the thought that these pestilential leeches have that much influence on their gravy trains, really goes against the grain.
    The sooner clubs get together and severely restrict the operations of these divisive hangers on, the sooner players will follow suit.

  • nicky,

    I did not write that line with joy but we both know that it is the truth. I despise the leeches (a.k.a. agents) as much as any other football follower but they are part of the realities of the game.

    I share your hope that agents will cease to be a part of the game. They cause too much trouble.

  • Cyberian

    Nice article! I live in Wisconsin where many of the locals are devoted fans of the Packers who happen to be in a very cold (well below zero F) and close playoff game at the moment. I have little interest anymore in professional american football (having become an Arsenal fan); however, I do admire the fans here that support their Packer team through thick and thin unlike so many on these Arsenal blogs. This website is refreshing and I welcome further contributions from you.

  • Mandy Dodd

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/insane-january-transfer-window-just-2989400
    An interesting take on the transfer window from one who knows

  • bjtgooner

    There was an interesting comment from Wenger to the effect that the team had reconnected with the fans – something which he had felt was missing last season.

    This confirms just how important it is for the fans to fully support the efforts of the team and manager and not (as the AAA sewer rats try to do) undermine the club.

    The fans last night were super – lets keep it going!

  • Gord

    @bjtgooner

    That paper I posted about home advantage has an estimate of home advantage, and I am going to suggest it is about 1 goal difference. But, another thing they go into, is how big the crowd is. And I think the home goal difference advantage was something like 0.086 per 10,000 fans. For Emirates, that is about 0.5 on goal difference.

    The data was from the EPL, with the best data 1994 to 2006, and some use of the 1992 and 1993. But, the authors also thought the system was fair, and hence not knowing something was amuck, they could have missed some things.

    Their data did show that one referee was an outlier, but they didn’t name the referee.

  • Nelson Wong

    To be honest, I don’t know how any so called fans have anything to complain.

    The team is playing very well. There are performace dip for individual players but they recover after a few games. Collectively, they do very well. There are a few problems but unless you got another “invincibles”, that’s how things work. This team is far better than many of the EPL champions in recent years. (think of some awful Man U teams of recent years…)

    Most of us would prefer a striker. Who doesn’t like top class players getting into the team? The truth though, is we rarely see one in the middle of the season.

    Think of all the drama in the Ozil signing and the painful RVP transfer. No one likes to have that in the middle of the year.

    As for big players falling down their starting line-up, most of them are highly competitive guys. They would prefer to stay focusedand fight it out with the next guy in the room. They are very agressive guys and don’t jump to another boat (that’s why we love these guys in the first place!) And then managers do not let players go to their rivals when they are all trying to grab trophies.

    I trust Wenger to fix any problems. I never have issues with his signings. That is his strength.

    He brought in Monreal swiftly when there was a need. He will do so if chance rises or it becomes necessary.

  • Robbie

    If you are annoyed, just imagine what Wenger must feel. I want to do a facepalm whenever I listen to Wenger having to answer questions about new signings. Somehow he manage to keep his nerves and politely tell the journalist that he his happy with his squad. It’s very impressive having to do this on a weekly basis without going nuts. I think this blog puts too much focus on the noisy fans who are shouting for new signings. Just leave them be. The best way to fight noisy attention seekers is to ignore them. Starting a debate is like pouring gasoline on fire.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Bootoomee – Very nice . I have long given up trying to out guess Le Boss !
    During the last January window ,Walter et al complied around 80 + names being brandied about , and what does he do ?
    Yes , he went on to buy the relatively unknown ( to me anyway!) Nacho Monreal ,who wasn’t on that exhaustive list !

    By the way , is it only me or are you guys also ‘disturbed’ by the fact that none of our players’ names are being mentioned as possible targets of the ‘big’ clubs ?
    Does this mean that all our players are not rated by them !
    Bummer !

  • no it means finally others realized we CAN keep our star players , signing an ozickle sent out that message 🙂

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ r.iris – Does that mean that Paw and Maw get to keep the farm ? And Daisy-Mae won’t become steak dinners /
    Aw ,shucks and good god golly ! We’s saved !

  • Gerry Lennon

    I love the sentiment behind this article, but I think it uses a very broad brush as it sweeps across what makes a football fan?

    For myself, I think there are lines you should not cross. If you want player ‘X’ to sign for the club. No problem. At the end of the day cliche, AW is the one who makes the decision, so individual thoughts do not matter. The line that should not be crossed, I think, is when stating the player wanted, then in the next sentence, slag off the very players who got us where we are?

    We all would like Arsenal to be able to cope fixture congestion, injuries, etc, and so look to have the necessary strength in depth. But the incessant stream of linked players is really down to lazy writers, many of whom have only a minimal interest in AFC, and the blog sites that give you 3 players Arsenal must sign, then the following day, another writer will name the same 3 players as ones to avoid. For all too many responders to this media frenzy, it feeds their appetite for more, without ever having a solid view as to who would best suit the team, team style, and ability. But they are fans nevertheless, and so perhaps it is only the extremely offensive ones that ought be isolated?

    Player’s agents, also hit with a broad brush, i.e. ‘leeches’. To me it is more about how they a regulated that is the problem. Let’s face it, the average player is probably not that wise when it comes to their long term interests? They do need representing. It is how they carry out their duties that matters. You mention Bacary Sagna who stayed with the club these 8 lean years. We assume that he has been happy to do so. As far as I know he has had the same agent throughout? Has his agent failed him for not moving him on to other clubs for big signing on fees, and higher wages? Or has he been a good agent and allowed the player to stay where he is happy to be? What may have changed this could have been the same fans who were quick to abuse after a dip in form last season, following his twice broken leg? Or may be, just the advancing years he has to think of life at the end of his career? Personally, I would not put this agent in that same category as the ones who take backhanders that even the players themselves don’t know about? Or the ones that sacrifice one player on their books in order to get a more lucrative move for another?

    Following, and taking part in discussions on transfers should be quite harmless. It is only when it steps away from the reasonable does it become a problem, if you have to ask, ‘In whose best interest does this serve’, be it club, existing player, or potential signing? That is when such discussions expose the shallowness of so called fans?

  • AL

    Wenger admitted wanting to sign Lewandoski, but said the player signed a pre contract agreement more than one and a half years ago. The deal was only made official two days ago coz he is now in his final six months of his contract. Imagine how many were begging Wenger to get Lewandoski in the preceding months,and are gutted he couldn’t get him. Shows there’s always more going on behind the scenes that we as fans don’t have a clue about.

    It’s ok to want players, but to think the noise we make as fans will lead to a certain player being signed is just wishful thinking. I’d be worried if the manager of a club I supported behaved that way, going for the players that fans will be screaming for. I think that’s what Kenny Dalglish tried to do, and see how things ended.

  • AL

    Signed a pre contract agreement with Bayern more than one and a half years ago…..

  • Sonal Singh

    Excellent piece. Kudos.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Lead us not unto temptation lest it rains ?.
    From….
    http://www.ba-bamail.com/Content.aspx?emailid=7388&memberid=763708#.UspWWPvyQTE

    The Rain…

    A man goes into the confession booth at the church.
    “Forgive me father, for I have sinned.”
    “What is your sin, my son?” Asks the priest.

    “Well, about a month ago I was in the library until closing time, and when I wanted to leave it started to rain very heavily and didn’t let up. After some time me and the librarian lost our patience and… well.. partied all night, if you catch my drift.”

    “That is bad but not horrible, my son,” Said the priest, “if it is a one-time slip, God will forive you.”

    “That’s just the thing,” said the man, “about a week ago I helped my neighbor fix her shutters, and when I wanted to go home it started rauining heavily and… well.. you know, all night long.”

    The priest remains silent.priest

    The man covers his face in his hands and starts sobbing, “what should I do now, father?”

    “What should you DO??” Screamed the priest, “You should get out of here right now before it rains !”

  • Abhishek Kumar

    Hi Eℓ Mαgηíғιcö™

    No one is being paid to receive abuses (whatever is your salary). It is such a big shame that fans think that they have a right to abuse. You only have the right to support or oppose a club. What right did fans have to say bad about Wilshere’s son. If you dont want to support a club, just go out and cancel your season ticket or channel viewership.

    FYI players are pad big salaries because millions want to see them plying their trade, hence they can generate great revenue by advertising or viewership.

    Hope this clarifies..

  • Gerry Lennon,

    Thanks for your comment.

    While I don’t like agents, I don’t think they are all evil. Apologies if I come across as such. I have the same sentiment about lawyers and I have a few good ones as friends. My point in the article though, is that footballers would listen to their agents before the fans because they (the agents) are paid to look out for the interest of the players. Despite his agent not influencing him to leave us in almost 8 years, I think if he has to either listen to us fans or his agent on his next move, I believe that he would go with his agent.

    As I have said in response to GoingGoingGooner, there is nothing wrong with suggesting names of desired players but far too many get worked up when their choice(s) is(are) ignored. And they would try to dampen the enthusiasm of others with dire predictions as a result. The fact that their previous predictions have failed to come to pass never stops them.

  • Robbie,

    You have no idea how much respect I have for that man for being able to stop himself from telling pests (a.k.a. the press) to fuck off. He must be the most patient man in the world.

    I am not trying to start a debate though. I am trying to stop a pointless one. Decisions on player signing are not open for discussion; at least not with the fans. To pretend like one exist is pure delusion on the part of those who do.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Why do fans get into this whirlpool of transfer speculation and get caught/drown in it??….Well, they are made to.

    These days football is not ‘just’ played in the pitch. Therz a lot of football going off it. And there are lots of different industries associated with it now. Media, of-course. Then therz the betting industry, the biggest money churner.

    As Bootoome told,” It is understandable why football fans play the transfer speculation game. We all want our teams to do well, and we naturally want to do our bit to make success possible. This is a noble thing.”

    The media latches on to the very sentiment and churns out stories. In large numbers ie, in a short period of time. Hence the authenticity of these cant be established. What it does is it increase TRP/hits/copies sold. And suddenly every one is talking about this or that ‘speculation’…..Then enters the big fish. The gambling industry. More the speculation, better for them. More the speculation less the payouts.

    Summer was all about Suarez/Higuain coming to us. And not even one betting company had ‘ARSENAL to sign Ozil’ slot….

  • blacksheep63

    I trust Arsene and Arsenal to do the right thing, which is to spend money if they feel it will improve the team and that they can get the player/s they need/want. But Arsenal are a football club – a most peculiar institution. Clubs are run as businesses but their customers do not have the advantage of choosing whether to support one club this week and one another. Most football supporting is actually based on faith rather than choice or reason. So if you remove logic from the equation it is understandable that some supporters should feel able to demand we sign so and so, sack the manager, drop the dodgy keeper or insist on wearing one colour over another. We deify our heroes, and find the most appalling adjectives for those of our opponents.
    In short then Bootoomee, great post but football supporters are not rational people , they are more akin to religious zealots.

  • AmericanGunnerFan84,

    You are the hateful wingnut bringing your convoluted and ignorant politics to this forum. If Obama is a socialist as you claim, he must be the least effective one ever, based on how the stock market indicators are at a record high during his presidency.

    My reference to President Obama has absolutely nothing to do with politics but your deranged hatred of the man would not let you see the difference.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agents…now theres a thing. From what I have read, they range in a spectrum from honest decent people with their clients interest at heart to those working closely to organised crime, and some quite terrifying types.
    I believe a factor that gets overlooked, I am quite sure there are agents out there representing top players that neither the manager or club will deal with, and most likely so. Some of the south American players, and possibly those we get linked with have not only 3rd party ownership, but from what I have read, 4th and 5th party ownership. Not even sure what that means, but it does not sound like something Arsenal will involve themselves with. Diego Costa rumoured to have a 31m buyout clause, but Wenger stated his true cost could be £145m – maybe he has to be bought from several individuals?
    Agree with Blacksheep, we can trust the good people at the club to do what is best. We have gone through a few frustrating years on the transfer front, this may have psychologically affected the more nervous of our fans to this day, but we now have the money and structures in place to get realistic targets….and some pretty good players.
    It is possible that…say a Fulham or West Brom striker could be attainable, and could help us cover injuries, but are they good enough to get a 3 year contract, and possibly hinder possible summer targets. I am not saying we shouldnt or wont sign such players but just putting forward considerations. In recent years we maybe have panic bought, ended up with a few players not really good enough at a detremental cost to the club, and maybe the careers of one ot two of them, at least in terms of playing time. We dont have to do this anymore, anyone we bring in needs either serious quality or if a kid, serious potential

  • para

    Eℓ Mαgηíғιcö™ and Mandy Dodd says it all really.
    We are not robot fans, we have emotion and speculation, joy and disappointment is part of the fan’s make up.
    We will scream in joy, be quiet(or some will be loud) in disappointment and we will speculate about who we will get as new player, how the squad is performing, all that is part of the fan’s lot.
    Without it, being a fan would be completely boring, that is unless our team won every game, and that just does not happen to any team, but i suspect even that would become boring with time.

  • nicky

    I’m always suspicious of folk whose income is solely derived directly from the ability of the individuals they represent.
    The more these individuals earn, the greater the percentage will be siphoned off to the agents. And every enhanced contract that can be negotiated with the employer (and preferably with a new employer) will bring added riches to agents.
    There is absolutely no need for agents. Those players, not of the brightest, can employ accountants purely to handle their money affairs.

  • Sid

    americanfan

    If you think Obama is a socialist, then you must be slightly to the right of Genghis Khan. I dread to think what you think he has manipulated with his evil left wing junta?

    Perhaps medical care that doesnt cost a small fortune that only the rich can afford?

    God help you and your like. Please fuck off from supporting my team, Wenger is a socialist after all, or hadnt you realised that?

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Boo,
    It won’t do to preach to workers in a chocolate factory not to indulge in the stuff every once in a while; no matter how graphically you show its contribution to their bulging waistline.
    Fans are bound to simultaneously worry about all kinds of eventualities for their clubs and to hope for every probable (and even improbable) best for their clubs. The transfer window is just the time for the best and the worst of these worries and hopes to be indulged upon.
    Indeed, transfer speculations in the period are hardly ever generated or fueled by fans. It is done by the press and blogs, quoting real and fictitious agent, club, player, coach and sundry sources. Fans lap everything up and, in their letters and in the stadia, give in to their well orchestrated worst fears.
    I totally agree that through pieces such as yours, fans should be encouraged to be calmer, more rational and less distrusting of their clubs’ management or capabilities to make the best decisions for their clubs despite the intense financial, competitive, information and time constraints they work under. Beyond this, we are asking for the impossible from fans.
    On my part for example, players that we are linked with is a good guide for for players to watch their games closely anytime the opportunity arises for to watch them on TV. I also watch out for where the players end up. I have come to know and watch the games of players like Cerci, Falcao and Pogba, as a result. Also, coaches like Wenger, Laudrop, Martinez and Rodgers interest me precisely because they are able to sign relatively unheralded players who then go ahead to show their mettle and blossom in their teams. On the other hand, Redknapp, AVB and the current Napoli coach hardly impressed me as they seem too fixated on”known” and expensive names for their squads.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    I am curious.
    We know that a full blown circus of potential transfers to and from Arsenal can generate up to 100names per transfer window. How does this compare with Man U, Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool?
    Do papers and blogs still realistically associate up to 20players with ManCity as possible transfer prospects despite their well known strength in depth?
    Perhaps when we bulk up to ManCity levels of strength in depth, the number of players being speculated to be Arsenal prospects will drop dramatically?

  • Gooner S

    @Bootoomee

    I get where you are coming from and what I write below is written with a smile 🙂

    Arsenal’s support is a broad church so to speak with many different facets. At one end of the spectrum is the likes of yourself (nothing wrong with that). At the other end of the spectrum are supporters that might have booed Arsenal and called for Arsene Wenger to go earlier in the season (and before) or demanded “spend some f***ing money”.

    Most Arsenal supporters are somewhere inbetween. Me included. Though I would position my views as being closer to Untold.

    Point being you should support Arsenal in the manner that you see fit, just like you wear your shirts! The rest of us will do the same. Some of us will (still) take things too seriously and some may still take some things in a more genial manner than perhaps is right.

    Just because we haven’t played the game at a professional level doesn’t mean we cant or shouldn’t have a view. whether its right or wrong. After all, most of us express many views in our lives, such as political or ecconomic or “why don’t they bloody trains run on time”. Most of us are not politicians, ecconomists or indeed running First Capital Connect!

    I personally like all of the transfer gossip. It’s fun. I don’t enjoy football so much when people take things too seriously, especially amongst our own support and this includes labelling Arsenal supporters AKB’s or AAA’s. Those responsible for the latter are far worse than those that might express a view that “Arsene should buy a centre forward in the transfer window”.

  • Stuart

    Gooner S,
    Not sure what you mean by “Those responsible for the latter are far worse” Are you claiming that people who label others as AAA are the worst? If so, although I only subscribe to this term in jest, I’d like to know how you come to that conclusion as this is not a chicken & egg scenario. The AKB term was the first used to divide the fans.

  • Gooner S

    @Stuart

    Yes. Both. Not one(AKB) or other (AAA). Both.

    So you subscribe to it (AAA) in jest. I have no reason not to believe you. Those that label others as ‘AKB’ might say the same thing as well. But there are those that do take this name calling very seriously, too seriously.

    The “They started it first” defence doesn’t really hold water with me whether that statement is right or wrong.

    The point of @bootoomee’s post was about how to support your team. It was rather well written even though I don’t subscribe to the views as a whole. My point is there a far worse ways to support your team than speculating on transfers etc and I gave an example – just my view.

  • Gooner S,

    As I have said a few times, there is nothing wrong with suggesting names of players that we want the club to sign. I don’t do it as I consider it a waste of my time but I see no harm in others doing so. The problem, as I said before, is that too many take it as a slight if the club, as is mostly the case, ignore their ‘insightful’ suggestions. Such speculators then take it out on the team by spreading negativity. That’s my point.

    The train and government services that you mentioned are not synonymous. Customers can pressurise the train companies to run more on time or decongest their coaches. In the same way, Emirates patrons can force Arsenal FC to improve physical conditions at the stadium. They have every right to as paying customers. But neither quality of players/manager or results are included in ticket prices, so they have no say there whatsoever. All the rights that your ticket prices guarantee is a seat to watch matches and of course good services from the stewards.

    Stuart already addressed my position on the AKB/AAA dichotomy. In short, the AAA started it by denigrating us with the AKB tag that we have now taken with pride. It is interesting that they are so unhappy with their own tag. Maybe because they are never happy anyway.

  • colario

    If you system is a lone striker then the problem is how many do you have in your squad? It seems Arsene’s solution is 2 1/2 Giroud and Bentner plus Walcott if those two are out.

    It worked on Saturday by next Monday Giroud should be back.

    So do we buy another striker in January? I doubt it.

    The 3rd and 4th round draws have thrown up some quirks. A repeat of the 1991 semi finals. Notts For and wet spam. Us and the mob. This time it was revenge for us.

    Now we play Coventry. They won in 1987 against Glen Hoddles Tots his last game for them before playing for Arsene.
    His first game as manager of the tots was against us. Glen verses his mentor.

    It was also Sol’s last game for the tots his next was for us.

    Glen always speaks highly of Arsene.

    Whilst its great to have the hold on the tots you have to feel sorry for their supporters and for Glen.

  • colario,

    Are you kidding? I have no sympathy for the tinies; none whatsoever. The more pain they suffer, the better I feel. I even enjoy it more if we are the ones inflicting it.

    I do like Glenn Hoddle though. I think he is an honest person and pundit.

  • colario

    Bootoome.
    Peter Alan a radio 5 presenter and ardent tots supporter on hearing the news of Walcott’s injury said ‘I wish him well.’

    I would have the same reaction if it was a tots player.

  • colario,

    I mean pain in footballing terms, you know, like disgraceful losses from ridiculous own goals. I never wish injury or bodily pain on anyone.

  • Gord

    I suppose part of the job for football fans is to watch the game, or if they don’t have TV or a high speed connection with reasonable data limits, follow the commentary at some website like the BBC.

    I have run across web sites about football, saying the the _Barclays Premier League_ requires web sites that publish the starting time and date of games in advance of the game, to pay multi-thousand pound royalties to the _Barclays Premier League_. When does this endless pursuit for more money end?

    It is easy enough to find out when these games are supposed to start, the problem is publishing it. That is the absolutely critical data that the _Barclays Premier League_ has to protect the world from (or milk money from, depending on your point of view).

    What all web site owners might try to do, is to _predict_ (by non-trivial calculation) the actual end of the game. They can find the expected start time. Around Emirates, there can be subway problems which lead to delayed start times. Storms can delay games. SAF might be visiting a field, and so there could be 874 minutes of Fergie Time before the game ends. Predict the end of the game.

    IANAL, and I don’t know that this idea will fly past a judge, but I don’t think anyone has thought of it or tried it. All the people (rightly) complaining about this restriction from publishing start times, don’t seem to be looking for alternatives.

    Me? I’m just pissed that the _Barclays Premier League_ thinks it owns ever fact from a game. I am not going to try and find problems if I have to pay for the data. All of the data could be crowdsourced, and you would have no say in that being published. Give up the ownership of data idea, and publish all the data. Use a Creative Commons license if you need to (looser is better).

  • rupert cook

    @Gooner S at 1.38pm, hear, hear.

    Arsenal sees itself as a business first, at least that’s what many believe. Therefore we are customers and if customers don’t like the product they have every right to complain.

    We are not robots. I’m sure you’d like everyone to just ignore what goes on behind the scenes because “they” know how to run a club. Tell that to the supporters of Portsmouth, Leeds and Cardiff. Fortunately we appear to be run rather well at the moment but I certainly don’t blindly trust Kromke or Usmanov.

    As for not splashing the cash, that’s exactly what we did, or didn’t you notice our record signing? Wenger himself said he wanted to make the fans happy so who actually was responsible for Ozil coming? Personally I think Wenger wanted to sign a star player and want the fans wanted played a negligible part. After all it’s not as if we didn’t have 40 million to spend two seasons ago, Wenger himself said so, so maybe he was waiting for the right player.

    And yes I think we do need a striker as I don’t believe we’ll win the league with Giroud leading the line even though I think he’s a decent player and love his commitment. That opinion goes doubly now Walcott is out for the season. If Wenger wins the league without any additions all credit to him but I imagine Chelsea and Pool will strengthen and if they do and we don’t then I think Wenger has made a bad decision.

  • andy bishop

    @Gooner S…spot on. Nothing worse than another telling you how to support your club. Even worse gratuitous insults when your views differ. Giroud in my opinion is a grafter and very much a team player..and that goes a long way to counteract what he lacks in pace and technical quality. Wenger has his squad this year and I think it futile to clamour for a massive marquee signing in January. By the time any such player has bedded in Giroud and Bendtner plus Sanogo will be fit. Now that Theo is out long term it is a test of the current squads resolve. We have what we have …get behind the team.

  • Gooner S

    @bootoome

    Sorry just read your reply. Sorry I don’t agree with you entirely. You are correct in stating what your football ticket purchase entitles you to, from a consumer rights perspective. But you are being very selective.

    Buying a ticket (for example) does not negate the right you, I, everyone has to hold an opinion. You might not care for or agree with my opinion or for the opinion of others for that matter but they are our opinions.

    If I go to the cinema to watch a film my purchase entitles me to view the film. I also have the personal right to express a view on the film itself. It’s for this reason I very rarely watch Leonardo Di Caprio

  • Gooner S

    @bootoome

    Sorry just read your reply. Sorry I don’t agree with you entirely. You are correct in stating what your football ticket purchase entitles you to, from a consumer rights perspective. But you are being very selective.

    Buying a ticket (for example) does not negate the right you, I, everyone has to hold an opinion. You might not care for or agree with my opinion or for the opinion of others for that matter but they are our opinions.

    If I go to the cinema to watch a film my purchase entitles me to view the film. I also have the personal right to express a view on the film itself. It’s for this reason I very rarely watch Leonardo Di Caprio 🙂 Or that I don’t mind Peter Jackson embellishing the plot of The Hobbit 🙂

    It’s the same with football. There is no single, right way to support a football team. So if I want to express a view that Diego Costa would enhance our team, I can. I might also add that if it were to happen it probably wouldn’t be in January if at all!

  • Gooner S,

    I think our conversation is getting redundant as I am not against people making suggestions that can strengthen the team although it’s not what I do personally because of its pointlessness (as I have said repeatedly on this thread). I’ll give you two different examples of what I’m talking about:

    Example 1: Player X is a great defender. If we could get him, he would improve our defence.

    Example 2: Our defence is crap. We must buy a good defender like Player X or else we are not going to win any trophy/make top 4 etc this season.

    Can you see the difference? Example 1 is pointless but not harmful. Example 2 is both pointless and can be harmful. Usually, those who make the latter suggestion would later go about spreading gloom because the club had not taken their sage advice.

    I find it funny that you have chosen to stay away from movies featuring Leonardo di Caprio rather than continue to watch them (out of your apparent love for him) but then complain and complain about how terrible he is. As I have said in the past, the day I start feeling despondent about Arsenal, I would just mute my support rather than go on whining about how miserable the club is making me.